This day, 17 March 1861, it was proclaimed the Unity of Italy
! After years of war, Vittorio Emanuele II of Savoia became the first King of our beloved country and Camillo Benso of Cavour, the great architect behind the indipendence, became our first Prime Minister; after centuries of foreign domination, that little piece of Europe gained a new identity.
Everything started with insurrectional movements in 1820-1821, later in 1830-1831, then in 1848; during that same year, the population of Milan expelled Austrian occupation forces in five days. After this last event, followed by many political conflicts, began the First War of Indipendence (1848-1849); however, we had to win three wars to get a complete liberation and annexation of our current regions.
Congress of Paris (1856): After the Crimean War, Piedmont tried to build new relationships to protect its plans of restoration in the Italian Peninsula; that first region was the foundation stone and starting point of a larger campaign.Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour
and General Giuseppe Garibaldi
: these extraordinary men were brain and brawn in many epic feats and circumstances. They never accepted each other, their methods were way too different, but they cooperated in achieving greater purposes.
Once the Third War of Indipendence was finally concluded, the Habsburg Family gave back the Iron Crown
, symbol of the ancient Kingdom of Italy built by Longobards during the VI century. (We'll talk about this in a different occasion)
Rome was conquered in 1870: Pope Pio IX had to renounce to his temporal power and territories, but refused to recognize the newborn nation. However, even if we had problems with the Holy See, the eternal city became capital one year later and we placed our parliament there; Italy became a Republic in 1946 ... many things have changed, I won't tell them all, but I'm glad to see that something lasted during 150 years. We're sons and daughters of patriots and this land is their legacy!
Listen the orchestral version of the national anthem, Fratelli d'Italia - Brothers of Italy
His majesty, father of the fatherland, the King Vittorio Emanuele II gave a speech before the Piedmontese Parliament, when he said: "Our country, small in size and proportions, gained credibility with European Councils thanks to the greatness of its ideas and the ability to endear itself to others"